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IT DOESN’T TAKE A ROAD FOOD WARRIOR OR A DINING DETECTIVE TO DIVINE THAT LAS VEGANS ARE DRINKING BETTER THAN EVER THESE DAYS. WHETHER IT’S A GIFT OR A BOTTLE OR A CASE OF SOME CLASSIFIED RARITY, THE OUTLETS FOR WINE BUYING ARE EVERYWHERE AND GETTING BETTER ALL THE TIME. BEING AN OLD TIMER AS I AM…WHICH IN VEGAS MEANS YOU WERE HERE BEFORE 1990, I REMEMBER WHEN IT WAS MR. LEE’S OR THE GROCERY BIN WHENEVER WE SOUGHT THE FRUIT OF THE VINE. LEE’S STILL HAS THE BROADEST SELECTION IN TOWN, BUT FOR MY MONEY IT IS THE LOCAL WINE SHOPS THAT HAVE REALLY MADE A DIFFERENCE AND BROUGHT THE GOOD STUFF TO THE NEIGHBORHOODS. TO THE EAST IS THE LAS VEGAS WINE COMPANY …..WHICH NOW HAS AN OUTLET NEAR GREEN VALLEY. STARTED BY DOMINIC BORRA__SIX_____YEARS AGO, THIS STORE ON EAST DESERT INN, PROVED THAT A LOCAL PURVEYOR OF WORLDLY WINES COULD MAKE A GO OF IT DESPITE THE EVILS OF MONOPOLISTIC WHOLESALING, CASINO INDIFFERENCE, AND SUPERMARKET PRICE SLASHING. YES THERE WAS A MARKET HERE FOR BETTER THAN AVERAGE WINES… GOOD JUICE FROM THE BEST PRODUCERS THAT PEOPLE WANTED TO TRY, BUT FOR YEARS NO ONE IN VEGAS WANTED TO GIVE THEM A CHANCE. NOW WINE DRINKERS ALSO HAVE MARCHE BACCHUS IN DESERT SHORES AND NEVADA WINE CELLARS OUT WEST-- BOTH CHOCK FULL OF FRENCH AND CALIFORNIA BEAUTIES EVERY NIGHT….…AND THE WINE SELECTIONS AREN’T BAD EITHER. ALL THREE OF THESE STUNNING SHOPS HAVE MADE GOOD DRINKING ACCESSIBLE WITHOUT A TRIP TO THE STRIP. BUT THOSE OF YOU WHO DON’T MIND MIGHT JUST WANT TO CHECK OUT LAS VEGAS ODYSSEY TWO THOUSAND ONE WHERE, BEGINNIING NOV FIFTEENTH, A FOOD AND WINE EXTRAVAGANZA WILL BEGIN WITH EVERYTHING FROM PICASSO COOKING DEMONSTRATIONS TO CULT WINE TASTINGS. THE FOUR SEPARATE TASTINGS, OVERSEEN BY MASTER SOMMELIER BARRY LARVIN, ARE EASILY THE MOST SOPHISTICATED OF THEIR KIND THAT ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AND A TASTEFUL WAY TO DETERMINE IF THAT CALIFORNIA CAB IS WORTH A HUNDRED BUCKS. HERE’S A HINT: IT’S NOT BUT THE FOOD AND WINE YOU WILL TASTE AT LAS VEGAS ODDYSSEY DEFINITELY WILL BE.

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